We’ve seen a number of NFL players opt out of playing the 2020 season in the last couple of days and asthma was cited as the reason for at least one of those decisions.
Vikings defensive tackle Michael Pierce was deemed high risk as a result of what contracting COVID-19 could mean for his respiratory issue, but Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward hasn’t made the same choice. Heyward has asthma and said it caused him problems late last season while he was playing and battling a cold, but that it won’t cause him to step away from the game this year.
“I would say I have to take every precaution,” Heyward said, via Ed Bouchette of TheAthletic.com. “I think there are so many unknowns. I could get the disease another way. I’m going to take every precaution, keep myself safe and others around me safe. I think by doing that I can still be able to play and play at a high level. Maybe being a P.A. rep, I think I have too much information. That’s put me at ease. I’ve been trying to do everything I can, whether it’s staying up on multiple vitamins, whatever, making sure if I did catch it I’d be healthy enough. It’s still an ongoing every-day process with this virus that we don’t know about. But I have to make sure I take every precaution. I feel like I’m doing it and I’ll be cleared to play.”
Heyward stressed the need for players, coaches and others around the team to make good decisions when they are away from the facility. He called them “short-term sacrifices for long-term gains,” including the chance to play a complete 2020 season.